April 28, 2023
“My dad had high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes. If it was high, he had it,” says Cecily Tinder as she sits at a bright orange table in the window of Electric Beets in Park Slope. “He had a very painful last 15 years of his life, and he jokingly said to me, ‘Hey, this is what you have to look forward to.’ I basically refused to believe that that was my path for health.”
Looking to take charge of her health, Cecily worked with a trainer, who suggested she follow a plant-based diet for a month and then evaluate how she felt. “I started the 30 days and I never stopped,” says Cecily. “I felt amazing and so full of energy and so different.” That was ten years ago.
Near the end of 2021, Cecily left her corporate job and dedicated herself to creating Electric Beets, a plant-based deli offering grab-and-go options, hot food, dry goods, and environmentally friendly gift items.
“My target demographic for this business is omnivores, because everyone needs to eat more vegetables and enjoy them,” says Cecily, adding that once she started researching the science and health benefits of plant-based eating, she wanted to spread the word. As a result, Electric Beets is meant for everyone: those already following a plant-based diet, omnivores interested in dipping a toe into the plant-based world, those trying to revamp their diet but not sure where to start, Park Slope residents excited to celebrate Meatless Monday, and hosts looking to buy food for vegan houseguests. She’s also aware that Electric Beets could be a good resource for someone who is newly dating a vegan and wants to learn to love the same food their partner loves.
The food at Electric Beets is made fresh daily and covers a wide range of cuisines. “We’re trying to cover a lot of different ethnicities, which is a lot of fun,” says Cecily. “We’re not shying away from spice. We’re not shying away from bold flavor.” The deli also offers one hot item per day. Throughout the winter, this was warm soup. Now that the weather is changing, they’ve been making gazpacho. Soon, they’ll be rolling out something new: tartines, or open-faced sandwiches.
Electric Beets also offers dry pantry goods, including homemade granola, kale chips, and fresh roasted nuts. “The whole Electric Beets concept is minimal oil and no refined sugar,” explains Cecily. “We only use coconut sugar and maple syrup, and when we use those, we use about half of what you would normally find in a typical baked good. In our savory items, we also keep salt to a minimum. Health is our main priority.”
Another focus for Cecily is sustainability. Nearly all the non-edible items featured in the gift shop—including cloth napkins, greeting cards, birthday candles, baskets, coffee, and tea—are reusable and/or sustainably made. “I want to leave a lighter footprint on this earth by creating this business,” says Cecily, adding that all the prepackaged food is sold in compostable or biodegradable containers.
Cecily is also focused on making her business as community-centered and kid-friendly as possible. The table she’s sitting at is decorated with coloring books, there’s a children’s height chart on the refrigerator, and the wall behind her boasts a magnetic board awaiting customer requests. Cecily has already started hosting community events. Last week, a movement coach led a discussion on body image and self-love. The upcoming lineup includes a feng-shui specialist who will talk about how to set up the eating space in your home, a menstruation coach who will touch on topics such as menopause, a psychotherapist who plans to discuss sleep, and several yoga teachers who will chat about health and wellbeing.
The focus on learning-centered events makes sense, considering that Cecily says opening Electric Beets has already “been an incredible journey and learning experience.” If you’re looking to visit Electric Beets or attend one of their upcoming events, you can stop by their Park Slope location @ 158 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215, or follow along on Instagram.